story and photo
by Amy Pjura
Meet Mr. T. He is a wise, old flea that helps his new friends Wil and Fitz find what they are looking for and teaches them a thing or two about life along the way. This enchanting children’s book, “Wil, Fitz, and a Flea Named T,” is written by CJ Connolly, Noank, and is part of a new series, published by Crosswinds Press, Inc. The book is illustrated by Lisa Adams, Mystic, and designed by Trish LaPointe, Old Mystic.
The main character of this book, and the series, Wil, is CJ’s grandson. She wrote the story for him for Christmas last year. CJ was diagnosed with scleroderma, and incurable and ultimately terminal auto-immune disorder, and wanted to have something special to leave for her family, and for Wil. “Finding out about my disease definitely put life in perspective. It was time to write down all of the many lessons I learned from family, friends and life in general to pass on to my grandchildren and others,” said CJ. CJ’s husband, George, wanted a way to publish the story, so others could enjoy it. He created Crosswinds Press, Inc.
CJ authored many professional books and articles before this children’s series, but certainly nothing quite as fun and exciting. Rhyming comes easy and she’s glad that she can have fun with were writing for a change. When asked why she chose fleas, she responded, “No one has written about fleas yet!” CJ explained that before she even thinks of the plot of the story, she has to think about the flea first. Sometimes, the flea is based on a real person. In another one of her books, “The Boomerang,” Mr. T’s cousin, Zed, visits from Australia and teaches Wil that in life you get what you give. Zed is based off a friend of CJ’s that actually gave Wil a boomerang.
Wil, and CJ, are very proud of the series and CJ expresses, “I wouldn’t be able to do it without the team. The team of people making it happen.” The book is available locally at Bank Square Books, Mystic, or through the Crosswinds Press website, www.crosswindspress.com.